Park 360: A Labyrinth of Fun

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Skye Ropes Course

At Killington, the Terra-Maze sits on a 70’x70’ concrete parcel at the base of the ski slopes. Directly above it—filling essentially the same footprint—is the four-story Skye Ropes Course.

Ropes course above maze.

Participants make their way through
the ropes course above the maze.

The Skye Ropes Course is a Sky Trail Explorer model from Ropes Course, Inc. (RCI). It features 42 obstacles of varying degrees of difficulty. Course-goers frequently will use the bird’s eye view from above to try and memorize the route through the maze, but this strategy rarely works once it comes time to actually navigate it on ground level.

Killington partnered with Ride Entertainment—the North America sales representative for RCI—in a revenue share agreement for the course. “Working with Ride Entertainment has been a fantastic partnership—from early delivery of physical assets to timely construction, this crew knows how to get the job done,” said Killington president and GM, Mike Solimano. “The Skye Ropes Course is an imposing, beastly challenge at the foot of our mountain and we think it fits in perfectly,” he added.

The maze and the ropes course can be accessed with a one-day unlimited Adventure Center pass ($39 for ages 7+; $15 for 6 and under). Or, guests can purchase an a la carte ticket for the maze ($10 for adults; $7 for kids; $3 per same-day rerun) or the ropes course ($25 for two hours, all ages). McCoy says about 1,000 a la carte tickets were sold in 2015. Combined with Adventure Center passes, he estimates that more than 10,000 runs were taken through the maze alone last year. Staff is ironing out the details of an Adventure Center season pass product that will be added in 2016.

It’s Amaze’n

Amaze’n Mazes, based in Winter Park, Colo., helped Killington with installation and readying the maze. Killington’s maze is the company’s ninth installation at a ski resort, with others dotted around the country.

Greg Gallavan, principal at Amaze’n Mazes, says that most of the company’s mazes are incorporated with existing activities. Gallavan says ski areas are ideal because they attract large crowds and families, and they benefit from an activity that has large capacity and can stay open during unpredictable mountain weather.

Mazes can be customized. For example, the exterior of Killington’s Terra-Maze uses all natural pine-edged wood—the same wood that’s used on other resort buildings and bridges. Amaze’n Maze products include ropes course mazes, like Killington’s, aqua mazes with interactive water elements, and even a safari-themed “Great Poacher Caper” maze that targets zoos, museums, and aquariums.

Gallavan says each maze is designed to seamlessly integrate into an existing park. Mazes attach to a hard surface and can even be installed in a parking lot. Three of the ski area mazes are actually taken down in the winter months.

The company recommends a minimum of 3,000 square feet; Gallavan says most are between 4,000-5,000. “Most Americans don’t have the patience for larger mazes,” he adds. “They want to win NOW!”

About 60 Amaze’n Mazes currently dot the globe, including parks in Spain, Canada, Mexico, South Korea and the West Indies. The newest is a water maze that was recently built in Singapore.

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About Author

April Darrow is a Denver-based editor and writer. She was communications director for the National Ski Patrol, where she captained Ski Patrol Magazine and other publications, and is a former editor of the NSAA Journal. Most recently, she served as copy editor for Heinrich Marketing, where her clients included Macy's, Bloomingdale's, Humana and Kroger.

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